>Date: Wed, 24 Dec 97 09:38:30 PST
>From: kathy.bailey@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
>To: hfcc@lists.montara.com, epic@igc.org
>Subject: PacLumber - LA Times story
>Reply-To: Headwaters Forest Coordinating Committee <HFCC@lists.montara.com>
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>Wednesday, December 24, 1997
>Redwood Forest Owner Denied Logging License
>Timber: Firm whose land includes Headwaters grove is accused of
>carelessness, failure to control erosion.
>By FRANK CLIFFORD, Times Environmental Writer
>Citing chronic violations of the state's forest protection law, the
>California Department of Forestry has taken the unusual step of denying
>a license to cut timber next year to Pacific Lumber Co., owner of the
>embattled Headwaters Forest along the North Coast.
> Forestry officials said the agency took the action because the
>company had committed more than 100 infractions of the Forest Practices
>Act in the last three years.
> Most of the infractions stemmed from Pacific Lumber's careless
>logging operations during wet weather and its failure to control erosion
>across much of the firm's 200,000 acres of timberland, the officials
> By weakening hillsides and plugging up streams, erosion can
>jeopardize fish and wildlife habitat and lead to landslides and floods.
> "This is the first time ever we've had to take the action we did
>with a company as big as Pacific Lumber," said Gerald Ahlstrom, the
>department's deputy chief of enforcement and litigation.
> The firm, which owns the largest private stands of ancient redwood
>trees in the world, is one of the five largest timber companies in
>California, he said.
> Despite the license rejection, which Pacific Lumber learned of
>Tuesday, Ahlstrom said ongoing discussions with the company could lead
>to a "provisional" license for 1998 that would be subject to special
> Even without a provisional license, the company could conduct
>logging operations by hiring outside contractors to do the work.
> "The point of denying a license isn't to stop logging but to get
>people out there who will do the work without damaging the environment,"
>Ahlstrom said.
> John Campbell, president of Pacific Lumber, expressed confidence
>Tuesday that the state would issue a license by the beginning of the
>year. "We are taking the issue very seriously, and we are looking for a
>satisfactory resolution," he said.
> Conditions of the license, he said, will probably require new
>erosion control safeguards on logging roads as well as closer
>supervision by licensed foresters employed by the company.
> At the same time, Campbell said he believes that the state's action
>resulted from lobbying by environmental groups that have been
>criticizing the firm's forestry practices for more than a decade. Last
>year, more than 1,000 people were arrested outside one of the company's
>mills. This year, thousands of activists descended on the area for a
>save-the-redwoods rally.
> "I think this is coming out of intense pressure on the agencies
>from the environmental community with really a focal point on
>fisheries," Campbell said. "People are concerned about sediment entering
> Salmon are among several endangered species that live in the
>forests and streams owned by Pacific Lumber, and salmon spawning grounds
>are often destroyed when sediment accumulates in stream beds.
> Pacific Lumber is negotiating a $380-million deal that would
>transfer the core of its old-growth redwood forest to joint state and
>federal ownership. The grove amounts to an island amid the company's
>broader holdings.
> Even if Pacific Lumber can continue logging, the Forestry
>Department action is an untimely slap in the face to company officials
>in the midst of such a high-profile transaction with the Clinton and
>Wilson administrations. Part of that process requires the firm to
>develop a conservation plan for any of its land that harbors endangered
David M. Walsh
P.O. Box 903
Redway, CA 95560
Office and Fax(707) 923-3015
Home (707) 986-1644

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